So I’ve been thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2012. In the process, I’ve read a lot of other people’s blog posts with their resolutions, and of course Dean’s posts about how to set good goals and reach them.
A lot of people are setting word count goals for the year, but I’m not sure that’s a good idea. I would rather focus on projects, and how many I want to complete, rather than strict word count. I mean hell, I could probably crank out any number of words if I wanted to and didn’t care if they were coherent or not. Not that others don’t care about that, but you know what I mean. Plus, strict word count seems a bit nebulous to me.
So I’m not going to make word count an official goal. Unofficially? I got just under 230,000 words written in 2011. I’d like to get up to 300,000 in 2012. That works out to 75,000 per quarter, or 25,000 per month. Extremely doable. But I’m not going to concern myself if I don’t get there.
So what are my 2012 goals then? Glad you asked. I’m going to break them up into annual goals and quarterly goals. Since I make it my practice to re-assess my progress on a quarterly basis, it makes more sense to focus on quarters more. Plus, I found myself having to be very flexible with my annual goals last year as the various quarters went through their vagaries and changes. If I do goals by quarter this year, it’ll be easier to hold myself to them (a shorter deadline) and allow for more flexibility.
First, the Annual goals:
- Get back into Karate. I love exercise, and martial arts. But since I left Charleston, I’ve fallen away from karate. Part of it was because I haven’t found a dojo up here in Saratoga Springs that I really like (and that teaches the same style that I studied down south). Part of it was because I was busily cranking out my MBA while juggling three kids under age 4. And part of it was because I was a slug. I miss it, though. My wife does too. Plus my daughter is now old enough to start taking lessons (she will grow up knowing how to defend herself). We’re getting transferred to Pearl Harbor soon. When we get there, I will find a dojo that we can all train at and get back into the karate groove.
- Slim down. This goes hand in hand with #1. I’m not super tall (68.5 inches), but I’m broad. No really, I’ve got some shoulders on me. I’m also pretty muscular. And I’ve got mammoth thighs. Always have. The Navy has these height-weight tables that it wants people to fall within. For my height, the max weight the Navy wants is 184 pounds. Above that, you have to get a body composition analysis done to ensure you’re less than 22% body fat. The last time I made the Navy height-weight table was the beginning of my Sophomore year at BU. I’ve pretty much always made the body fat analysis, though. That having been said, a few years back, the triple whammy hit: I went over 30, I got married, and I went back to sea as a Department Head onboard a submarine. When I rolled to shore duty in Charleston in the fall of 2008, I weighed in at 240 lbs and did not make the body fat standard. Fortunately, it wasn’t an official weigh-in, but still it stung. What the hell happened? So starting in Dcember that year, I hopped on weight watchers, worked out a ton, and got down to 215 in about 3 months. That’s more than I was in my mid-20s, but I could also do a lot more pushups and bench press one hell of a lot more (I increased my working bench press weight by 50 pounds in 2009). I discontinued weight watchers, but kept up the routine until the last half of this year. After Christmas, I weighed myself – 230! UGH! So it’s back on weight watchers I go. It’d be cool to get back to 200 or below. We’ll see how that works out.
- Triathlon. I’ve run three marathons. The last was in 2004, but I did it. Last year, I rode a century – 100 miles on my bicycle around Lake Tahoe. Sure, I could do another century or another marathon. And I very likely will, because they’re wicked fun. But this year I think I’d like to try a triathlon. Olympic-length. I’ve no doubt there will be opportunities aplenty in Hawaii to do that. 🙂 Who knows, I might like it enough to try for an Iron Man next year. Those are touch though – 5 miles (? maybe 3? I forget) in the water, then 126 miles on the bike, then a marathon. I know guys who have done them but DAMN! That’ll take some training. I can totally do it, but it’d be hard. For now, I’ll stick with Olympic length. 🙂
That’s it for the annual goals.
First quarter writing goals. We’ll be moving to Hawaii this quarter, probably sometime next month. It’ll take around a month to fully complete the move (it takes that long to get your household goods shipped there), so I doubt I’ll get much written once we head out. Therefore, my goals for this quarter are going to be relatively modest.
- Finish the first installment of The Pericles Conspiracy. I had to set this aside for NaNoWriMo, but it’s time to get back to it. I’m only about 10,000 to 15,000 words from a good stopping point, which will put this installment at 40,000 to 45,000 words. So I really ought to have this done by the end of January.
- Submit to Writers of the Future. This goes without saying. The Blob on the Rock was the shortest story I’ve sent in so far, at 5,000 words. Probably whatever I write this quarter will be between 5,000 and 10,000 words.
- Begin the sequel to Masters of the Sun. I say begin because I’m sure I won’t be able to finish it with the move and all. But it’s time to get started on it. If I can get 30,000 words done on it this quarter, I’ll be happy.
- Attend Dean and Kris’ Character Voice and Setting workshop (Tentative). I listed this one as tentative because I really don’t know what my work schedule will be, or how much the move will cost (the Navy pays for most expenses, but things always cost money in ways we don’t expect, and that aren’t covered, when we move). I’ve signed up for the workshop, and I really want to go, but I may not be able to get away in late March (or have the funds to get away). I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but we’ll see.
Like I said, fairly modest. 45,000 to 65,000 words. Doable? Probably. Depends on the move.
What about the rest of the year? Here’s what I’m thinking, tentatively.
2nd quarter – complete the Masters sequel, the second Pericles Conspiracy installment, and submit to Writers of the Future.
3rd quarter – complete the sequel to Glimmer Vale and submit to Writers of the Future
4th quarter – write a ton of short stories as my NaNoWriMo project, the third Pericles Conspiracy installment (if necessary), and submit to Writers of the Future
I’ll update these as the year progresses and I see how things are going.
So that’s it. Comments?